Art in corona times 7b. Mondrian Route, Kunstmuseum, The Hague (second leg: Mondrian & De Stijl, Lucassen)

Günter Förg

This is the second part of two about the reopened Kunstmuseum in The Hague and the exhibitions of the so-called Mondrian Route. Click here to see pictures of the first part, about A.R. Penck and Navid Nuur.

Bart van der Leck

The second leg of the tour leads along the permanent exhibition about Mondrian and De Stijl and the great solo show of Lucassen.

Bart van der Leck

Of course the KM is famous for its Mondrian collection, works by other De Stijl artists and their contemporaries.

Piet Mondrian

Usually i take that exhibition for granted.

I’ve seen it a few times, it’s good to know that it’s there and that’s it.

Piet Mondrian

As following the Mondrian Route means it is obligatory to see the De Stijl & Mondrian section, i took the opportunity to check if my favourites are still there.

Piet Mondrian

Of course they are and they never disappoint.

Vilmos Huszár

Apart from the obvious works by Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) there are other personal favourites like Bart van der Leck (1876-1958) and Vilmos Huszár (1884-1960).

Vilmos Huszár

Again, under the tranquillity of the Covid-19 measures at the museum, it was a great joy to see these works in all there preciousness again, without the pressure of any other visitors who may disturb your attention.

Bart van der Leck

After all, art watching is an egotistic activity.

Bart van der Leck
Vilmos Huszár

At best it’s you and the work of art, and nobody in between or around.

Piet Mondrian
Lucassen

However, i couldn’t  spend much time there as i needed time for the Lucassen show. Reinier Lucassen  (1939) has built an impressive oeuvre of paintings.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

He started in the 1960s as an artist who combined elements of figurative and abstract art and of high art and consumer culture, like other artists in the Netherlands and Belgium, usually called Nieuwe figuratie (New Figuration).

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

In the case of Lucassen it has become an art intermingled with the beauty of the banal and the absurd.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

Lucassen’s work is also linguistic, as such it may be even more mysterious to a non-Dutch speaker than it is for a Batavophone.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

As usual in these big shows at the KM there is an overload of works.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

The works are not presented chronologically.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

To an extent, that works, as mutual correlations between the paintings of different periods may become clear.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

On the other hand, after watching intensely (which is now really possible!) for some time, one gets the idea of getting a bit dizzy of all these different voices that shout, sing and whisper at you.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

To be short about visiting the KM at the moment: it is now possible to really look at the works intensely, or even reflect on them while looking, which is great and unique for this period of the crisis.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

However, as the exhibitions are quite big – apart from Navid Nuur’s, although his is big in its reflective content – you need to plan ahead what you really want to see.

Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen
Lucassen

Otherwise you may not fall victim to the Covid-19 virus but to the Stendhal syndrome.

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the estate of the artists, to Lucassen and to the Kunstmuseum, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!

 

Art in corona times 7a. Mondrian Route, Kunstmuseum, The Hague (first leg: A.R. Penck and Navid Nuur)

This picture report is in two parts, otherwise it would be too long and you might have problems opening it. Click here to see the next part, Art in corona times 7b.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

June 1st the Kunstmuseum (let’s abbreviate it to KM) here in The Hague reopened its doors after two and a half months of closure because of the Covid-19 pandemic, just like other museums in this country.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

There are very strict restrictions to enter and to move around in the museum.

A.R. Penck

Reservations have to be made online for a two hours timeslot, there is an obligatory choice between two routes and only one-way traffic is possible, but generally everything is very well organised and staff seem to be more friendly than usual.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

The two routes are the so-called Berlage Route and the Mondrian Route.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

When i visited on June 2nd i took the Mondrian Route which leads you along the A.R. Penck exhibition, Navid Nuur’s presentation, the permanent De Stijl collection and the Lucassen exhibition.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

Although two hours were obviously not enough for me, i very much enjoyed seeing all these works in real.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

Because of the restrictions and the maximum number of visitors (which is indicated for every room) i had a very tranquil afternoon.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

No crowds of people who are in your way, just silence and very little noise of another visitor now and then, that’s how i like it! In this report you see some aspects of the first leg of my tour: A.R. Penck (1939-2017) and Navid Nuur (1976).

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

I am planning a review for Villa la Repubblica (in Dutch) about at least one of the three not-permanent shows, so keep yourself posted!

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

As for A.R. Penck: I saw his work first in a solo show somewhere in the 1970s in the Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam (digitally i can’t find any reference to that exhibition).

A.R. Penck

That was quite an experience to me as an adolescent (which, i must say, is quite a broad definition in my case).

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

His works were exhibited on partitions, creating small rooms where you were confronted with his graffiti.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

It was both artistically and for its presentation a revelation to me. Now he has become one of the classics of German art.

A.R. Penck

The present show at the KM is quite a big retrospective.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

It has all the pros and cons of such a blockbuster.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

It is quite  overwhelming, and even some huge paintings were pushed into the very inner of the museum in one way or another.

A.R. Penck

A few smaller parts of the show are closed because of the corona measures, but, as it’s such a big show, you don’t really miss that.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

I felt privileged having all these works practically for my own.

A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck

Navid Nuur

No idea how old Navid Nuur was when i saw my first Penck exhibition, but the times of revelations seem to be far behind us.

Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur

After the savagery of Penck’s painting Nuur offers you more introspection in the KM’s so-called project space.

Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur

Nuur shows you the almost eternal life of dead matter, its transformation into minerals, into life, into light, into history, into philosophy, permeating and indeed being part of us and the rest of the world.

Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur, Philip Galle, Pieter Bruegel
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur

He has made a fine ensemble out of it.

Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur

Another visitor walked around in the room as well, reading her booklet about the show, when at last she asked me if i understood it.

Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur

To me that is a question of conscience, for, as an art historian, one knows all too well that one can never fully understand a work of art…..

Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur
Navid Nuur

Next leg of the tour (Mondrian & De Stijl and Lucassen) is in the next report. Click here to get there.

Navid Nuur

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the estate of A.R. Penck, to Navid Nuur and to the Kunstmuseum, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 6. Hoogtij #61 (High Tide Festival #61), The Hague

Usually Villa Next Door doesn’t pay much attention to events like Hoogtij (Dutch for ‘High Tide’). Hoogtij is a seasonal Hague event – always on a Friday night – in which most commercial and non-commercial galleries in the city are open to the public. Gallerists and artists are present and there are always many special events. Due to the circumstances this couldn’t take place yesterday night, so the organisation decided to go online. 22 venues took part in this edition.

So i sat down in front of my computer to see everything. Most of the material can still be seen on the internet. A special event was an interview by Marie Jeanne de Rooij with Jane Huldman, sister, mother and grandmother to many an artist in The Hague.

It is a warm blooded interview, recommended for those who are interested in modern and contemporary art history of The Hague and the nitty-gritty of, amongst others, the Dutch art subsidy system. The interview is in Dutch and  it is not subtitled.

I hopped alphabetically through The Hague in order not to miss anything, so i started at …ism which showed Museum Guards, in which the inhabitants of …ism perform as guards of their own house and collection, staring at you blankly in their own paradise.

1646 has a delightful presentation by Afra Eisma  of her exhibition Feline Whispers which had to close down because of the corona crisis, but which can now be experienced digitally.

Undoubtedly hers is one of the most moving Hoogtij presentations.

Victoria Kieffer’s presentation at Aether Haga is interesting for its content, but why didn’t she present it in French with English subtitles and with more creativity in the visual materials?

Baracca gives a trailer, or rather an announcement of its 2015 project Inside Job, which can be seen on Yvo van der Vat’s YouTube channel. It will take you more than an hour to see the whole movie.

At De Helena Hanna de Haan and Rik Buter have been working on a charcoal wall drawing, improvising on and reacting to each other’s work.

At Dürst Britt & Mayhew gallerist Jaring Dürst Britt shows you around in its first lustrum exhibition Vèf Jaaaah, with works by all the gallery’s artists. If you switch to the gallery’s Facebook and Instagram pages you can see Alexander Mayhew talking about the different works of art (in English). I reported about the exhibition here.

Galerie Maurits van de Laar presents a tour by artist and curator of its present exhibition Christie van der Haak.

As Christie has been a much valued teacher at the Royal Academy in The Hague she will be to many – like Jane Huldman – a kind of sister, mother and grandmother of the arts. It is a wonderful presentation in Dutch. I reported about the exhibition here.

At the Grafische Werkplaats (Graphic Studio) Nina van Dijk and Cedric ter Bals show you around (in English) in the exhibition Slechte verhalen fikken niet (Bad Stories Don’t Burn) while Christiaan Schoonenberg presents his own story.

All done in a wonderfully spontaneous way (at least, that is how it looks like).

At Heden artist Thijs Jaeger presents his work Four Horse Men, a small but intriguing work based on the Apocalypse. The presentation is in Dutch.

At HOK gallery, one of the very smallest in The Hague, Harold de Bree opens his own exhibition Borderlines.

His presentation is in English and there is even champagne!

At Maldoror Gallery Roeland Langendoen and Elsbeth Verheul show paintings.

Maldoror is one of the easiest accessible of the lot as it is just a shop window.

Malieveldwerk is at the Malieveld where on Saturdays you may find one or more artists experimenting. The short video is from 2013 (when snow was still a common winter feature in this country) in which the experiments are announced by Topp & Dubio. The announcement is in Dutch.

Projektruimte West end (West End Project Space) shows you around in an exhibition of paintings, drawings, photographs and objects featuring cats.

A must see for any cat lover or even not-cat lover.

Quartair presents the interactive exhibition stay-go.nl. It takes some extra clicks to get there, but it is fun.

Refunc is one of the very few venues which are digitally much better than in real, as far as i am concerned.

Those who need a reflective moment about space are well served by Henk Hubenet at Ruimtevaart with the short but fine video Circumstanced.

See Lab, itself located in far off Scheveningen, which makes it difficult to physically take part in Hoogtij, can be accessed now online with a presentation of the digital project Walking with Unimals by the artists of Pointer Studio. The project is presently on show ‘in real’ at See Lab.

In a very short presentation gallerist Alex Lebbink shows you the way to his SinArts Gallery.

It takes some extra clicking to SinArts’ own website to see the very interesting and worthwhile presentations of four artists and their works. Alex interviewed them all in English and it is a good way to get acquainted with their work. There are some short but beautiful video works and a recording of an impressive performance readily accessible as well.

Peter van Beveren’s The Archives has no short video. Why not? Surely all those books look interesting and intriguing enough, don’t they?

With a very short teaser Trixie announces its upcoming exhibition focus loslaten | ontspannen (let loose focus | relax) which takes place in June and for which you can apply in advance for a visit.

West Den Haag in “Onze Ambassade” (“Our Embassy” –  the former American Embassy) shows some slides of the four exhibitions it has at the moment.

Z Extra: Raamproject (Window Project), shows a short preview of a project by artist Yvette Teeuwen. Together with painter Casper Verborg – Yvette outside and Casper inside – they make a drawing on a window (at Heden). After some time a passer-by is also allowed to take part.

To end the evening i watched the short movie Dusk of the Harmonious Garden by Shen Wei, one of SinArts’ artists. A perfect and peaceful work to finish with!

Although these video presentations can never match the atmosphere and uniqueness of the usual Hoogtij events they are a good sign of life of the artists community in The Hague, and, as such, more venues could have taken part. Just to give a sign of life. Another good message is that most of the exhibitions are still on show “in real” and can be visited under conditions, so inquire at the websites of the galleries how you can visit them.

Click here to see all the Hoogtij presentations on its YouTube channel.

© Villa Next Door 2020

All photographs are stills / screen shots from the different presentations; courtesy to the artists, venues and the makers of the videos.

Bertus Pieters

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Façades of THe Hague #109

Block of apartments, Zeekant corner Jongeneelstraat, built in 1950.

The block was built in quite an elegant modernist style.

As a block of apartments looking over the beach and sea it looks far more attractive than most rubbish built later along the coast to gain as much money per square yard as possible.

© Villa Next Door 2020

All pictures were taken in March 2017.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #72 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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Art in corona times 5. For the Love of Art, Galerie Ramakers, The Hague

Galerie Ramakers recently opened a new show specially made for these difficult times.

Frank Halmans
Reinier Lagendijk; background left: Warffemius,; background right: Bob Bonies
Warffemius

The gallery is quite spacious, so the five feet distance rule can easily be observed.

Warffemius
Reinoud Oudshoorn
Reinoud Oudshoorn

Of course there are setbacks for the gallery and its artists.

Joncquil
Reinoud Oudshoorn
Marion Bijlenga

Fairs are postponed or don’t take place and works made for these events or meant to be shown at them have to be exhibited in another way.

Joncquil
Joncquil
Johan De Wit

In the gallery is, of course, the best and most obvious way to do so.

Johan De Wit
Frank Halmans
Frank Halmans

One can look at zillions of works of art on the internet, but nothing can beat the real thing.

Reinier Lagendijk
Reinier Lagendijk
Bob Bonies

Many of the works presently on show are for the inquisitive and have the power to absorb you.

Michel Hoogervorst
Michel Hoogervorst
Warffemius

Personally i enjoyed seeing these works very much. Some of them are golden oldies, others are quite new.

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Galerie Ramakers, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 4. Topp & Dubio in a Street, The Hague

I went on a bike ride to write an article for Villa La Repubblica about Topp & Dubio in a Street by Topp & Dubio, which can be seen at forty tram stops in town. Click here to read the article (in Dutch).

Click here for the page with a map where you can find the tram stops.

I’ve written quite extensively in VLR about the project, so i leave you here with some impressions. Take a look in your neighbourhood, i’m sure they are there as well!

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Topp & Dubio, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 3. Jan Wattjes, White Noise & Ryan Mendoza, Welcome in America; Livingstone Gallery, The Hague

Jan Wattjes (wall), Raquel Maulwurf (floor)

In January i attended the opening at Livingstone Gallery of its present exhibitions of works by Jan Wattjes (1981) and Ryan Mendoza (1971).

Jan Wattjes
Jan Wattjes

By now that seems ages ago, so i decided to see under which conditions i could visit the gallery.

Jan Wattjes
Jan Wattjes

I had already seen that the exhibition had been extended over the month of May.

Jan Wattjes
Jan Wattjes

There were no other restrictions for a visit than the usual ones under the circumstances.

Jan Wattjes

Not having seen each other since the pre-corona era, we had of course lots to discuss, as both the gallerist and me don’t need much stimulus to talk.

Jan Wattjes

In March the gallery had taken part in VOLTA, New York and some of the works shown there still stood packed in the gallery, three works by Raquel Maulwurf (1975) making a good counterpoint to Jan Wattjes’ wonderful pentaptych.

Adriaan Rees

Wattjes’ paintings in which both surface and space play an important – even monumental – role, contrast with some other works also on show which more or less deal with the human condition of the artist.

Ryan Mendoza

In the adjoining space are some paintings and drawings by Mendoza on show.

Ryan Mendoza
Ryan Mendoza

Talking about the human condition of the artist, Mendoza’s works are especially about the human condition of man in general and in America in particular.

Ryan Mendoza
Raquel Maulwurf, Ryan Mendoza

Mendoza’s works share the space with Maulwurf’s bathtub, part of her exhibition last winter.

Jan Wattjes

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Livingstone Gallery, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!

Façades of The Hague #108

Apartment block, Kazernestraat, built half way the 1980s in a much older street. The style is clearly that of the 1970s and 80s: light, modern, practical and very democratically unrepresentative.

This last aspect translated itself in the Netherlands usually as cheaply unassuming and rather faceless, which more or less happened here too.

© Villa Next Door 2020

All pictures were taken in March 2017.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #72 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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Art in corona times 2. Hanna Mattes, Three Pieces; Lauwer, The Hague

Much to my shame, i hadn’t yet visited the new gallery Lauwer, until recently in the corona era.

The gallery focuses on photography, which is much needed in the present constellation of galleries and other art platforms in The Hague.

Last week the gallery reopened its exhibition of Three Pieces by photographer Hanna Mattes (1980).

The reopening also produced two poems on the wall by the artist.

The Three Pieces are part of a series of photos, taken in the Atacama Desert in Chili.

The desert itself is a landscape photographer’s paradise, but Mattes tries to combine the magic of the place with the magic of photography.

She reworks the negatives with water colour.

In that way she gives vibrancy to what is between heaven and earth, the two elements that are so close in a desert, as well as to the magic of its cultural history and present.

Under the present circumstances it is of course advisable to visit the gallery just on your own, and the gallerist will even disinfect the door handles for you.

So, if you are on your own, it is okay to give it a try, as it is obviously necessary to see Mattes’ works in real.

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Hanna Mattes and Lauwer, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times; SinArts Gallery, The Hague

In the corridor works by Ma Hui

As the corona crisis is dragging on it is time to see how galleries here in town are doing under the circumstances.

Yesterday i visited SinArts Gallery.

Some time ago i wrote an article for Villa La Repubblica about a work by Chen Hangfeng, one of the gallery’s artists.

I was able to do so because the gallerist sends twice a week a newsletter in which he discusses  a work of art.

The gallery’s website also has a link where you can indicate a time slot in which you want to visit the gallery, which i did.

So it became a long-time-no-see visit. In the mean time the space of the gallery has shrunk considerably.

Zhu Hong

It is not an anti-corona measure, but under the circumstances it is working pretty well, according to the gallerist.

In the middle a work by Zhu Hong

Every visitor receives a maximum attention and he/she can indicate which work or works he/she wants to see.

Ma Hui

At the moment of my visit there were some works on the gallery’s walls by Zhu Hong.

Ma Hui

Not having seen each other for quite some weeks, we talked a lot, especially about the present situation, of course, but i’m quite sure we’ll talk more about art next time.

Zhu Hong

Click here to read the article about Chen Hanfeng’s work in Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch)

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and SinArts Gallery, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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